Cambodian food is one of our favorite cuisines, and this is our absolute favorite dish — a culinary reminder of a fabulous trip.
Souvenirs of our various trips fill our home. But some of our souvenirs come in the form of food that evokes a meal we experienced and enjoyed abroad.
A go-to recipe and one of Wally's favorites is this cashew curry chicken, which reminds us both of a meal we had at an outdoor restaurant after visiting a floating village in Cambodia. (In fact, Wally liked the dish so much, he ordered it twice on that trip.)
This is a recipe adapted from Charmaine Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook. The ground cashews, combined with the yogurt, provide a rich, creamy texture. Wally couldn’t believe how close it tasted to the meal we had on our Angkor Wat adventure.
Theirs was served in a young coconut, though I dish it up in deep bowls with a bit a jasmine rice.
Wally never fails to say, “This is delicious, as always,” then teases me by muttering under his breath, “Though it would have been even more delicious if it was served in a young coconut.” The brat.
We find that this dish is even better if it has time to develop flavor overnight. So if you want to eat it the same night you cook it, just make sure you have enough for leftovers!
- ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions (2 cups), finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons curry powder (I prefer Vindaloo)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (save some as garnish)
- ¾ cup unsalted cashews
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
Heat butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate-low heat until any foam subsides.
Add the onions, sautéing for 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger, stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add curry powder, salt, cumin and cayenne and cook, stirring for another 2 minutes.
Add chicken and cook, stirring to coat it with the spice mixture, for about 6 minutes.
Add tomatoes, including the juice, and cilantro and bring to a simmer.
Then cover, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.
Just before serving:
Pulse cashews in a food processor until very finely ground.
Add to curry, along with yogurt.
Simmer gently, uncovered, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Top with cilantro.
Serve over jasmine rice (young coconut optional). –Duke